MOAA’s Tracking 3 Key Issues During the Military Construction
Congress has been moving full
steam ahead to get the military construction and veterans affairs
(MilCon/VA) appropriations bill through the House and make its
next stop at the Senate. Now that the full House Appropriations Committee
has passed the spending bill, it will move to the full House for a vote
before it moves on to the Senate.
MOAA is working to ensure that
child care, water contamination, and family housing are preserved during Senate
reconciliation of the bill.
The Truth About Your TRICARE Costs
long accepted an obligation to provide health care to military retirees who
earned this care through their decades of service and sacrifice. However,
rising budget tensions seem to magnetically draw this earned benefit onto the
chopping block repeatedly, bolstered by a misleading narrative that DoD
personnel and health care costs are spiraling out of control. Adding to the
confusion is another false narrative that military retirees pay little to
nothing for their health care.
done the research and provided context to the increases in personnel and health
care costs (which, combined, remain approximately 33 percent of the DoD budget)
as well as a deeper look into what military retirees pay for their health care.
Further complicating these current discussions, MOAA research contends, are the
immeasurable health care uncertainties awaiting our post-9/11 servicemembers
and their families.
After over 17 years of deployments and war, there are retiree
health care needs for which we must account, and for which we must not subject
to further premium costs or expose to the erosion of this
Reviewing the history of TRICARE program changes - DoD underwent
its first major change in 1956 when it began including dependent coverage - one
might sense the federal government intends to deter beneficiaries from fully
using their earned benefit. Any such impediments or challenges to the benefit
tarnish a once ironclad recruiting and retention tool.
Read the full white paper on MOAA’s website.
Care Improvements to Debut On June 6
The long anticipated program mandated in the MISSION Act is about
to debut in VA medical facilities around the country starting June 6.
After the launch of the new VA Community Care Program, or VCCP, veterans can
· “To continue to have access to community care under
current programs and then transition to the new program when regulations are
final and published.
· To follow an improved process to receive community care
under the new program, with better access to community providers and
improvements to customer service, such as more streamlined eligibility
· A new benefit that provides eligible Veterans with access
to urgent, non-emergency care for non-life-threatening conditions in VA’s
network of community providers
· Improved care coordination as VA transitions to a single
information technology system that better links together VA and community
· Your provider to receive timely payments for bills as VA
transitions to better claims processing systems.”
Simply put, once
the VCCP is fully rolled out, veterans can expect to have access to urgent
care; see eligibility for community care expanded; be able to schedule their
own or have VA schedule their community care appointments; and experience
On May 6, VA headquarters provided MOAA and a
few other veterans groups some training on VCCP so we can start sharing
information with veterans.
Veterans must be prepared for a few bumps during
implementation. Though VA is expecting most of the health system changes will
be seamless, and veterans can expect little to no disruption in care, it is
important to remember the MISSION Act is one of the most transformative reforms
in recent history and to not expect problems is unrealistic.
Infographics that we made available on MOAA’s
website generally illustrate how VA expects the VCCP to operate and how
veterans will engage with the program.